Climate Dynamics

, Volume 31, Issue 2–3, pp 183–194 | Cite as

Coupled North Atlantic slope water forcing on Gulf of Maine temperatures over the past millennium

  • Alan D. WanamakerJrEmail author
  • Karl J. Kreutz
  • Bernd R. Schöne
  • Neal Pettigrew
  • Harold W. Borns
  • Douglas S. Introne
  • Daniel Belknap
  • Kirk A. Maasch
  • Scott Feindel


To investigate ocean variability during the last millennium in the Western Gulf of Maine (GOM), we collected a 142-year-old living bivalve (Arctica islandica L.) in 2004, and three fossil A. islandica shells (calibrated 14CAMS = 1030 ± 78 ad; 1320 ± 45 ad; 1357 ± 40 ad) for stable isotope and growth increment analysis. A statistically significant relationship exists between modern GOM temperature records [shell isotope-derived (30 m) (r = −0.79; P < 0.007), Prince 5 (50 m) (r = −0.72; P < 0.019), Boothbay Harbor SST (r = −0.76; P < 0.011)], and Labrador Current (LC) transport data from the Eastern Newfoundland Slope during 1993–2003. In all cases, as LC transport increased, GOM water temperatures decreased the following year. Decadal trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) influence GOM water temperatures in the most recent period, with water temperatures decreasing during NAO and AMO negative modes most likely linked to LC transport and Gulf Stream interaction. Mean shell-derived isotopic changes (δ18Oc) during the last 1,000 years were +0.47‰ and likely reflect a 1–2°C cooling from 1000 ad to present. Based on these results, we suggest that observed cooling in the GOM during the last millennium was due to increased transport and/or cooling of the LC, and decreased Gulf Stream influence on the GOM.


North Atlantic Oscillation Gulf Stream Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Slope Water Scotian Shelf 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank David Rodland and Sven Baier for their help preparing shell samples (INCREMENTS Research Group, University of Mainz), NOSAMS at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for AMS analyses, Association of Graduate Students (University of Maine) for travel support, Lloyd Keigwin, David Lund, and Thomas Marchitto for providing proxy data for Fig. 6, and Fei Chai (University of Maine) for helpful conversations that shaped this manuscript. North Atlantic Oscillation data were provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (Climate Prediction Center; available at Portland Maine air temperatures were provided by NOAA National Climate Data Center (available at Prince 5 station data were provided by Marine Environmental Data Services (Fisheries and Ocean Division of Canada; available at We thank Thomas Marchitto and an anonymous reviewer for providing constructive criticism and suggestions that substantially improved this manuscript. This study has been made possible in part by a German Research Foundation (DFG) grant (to BRS) within the framework of the Emmy Noether Program (SCH0793/1). This research was funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF ATM-0222553).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan D. WanamakerJr
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Karl J. Kreutz
    • 1
  • Bernd R. Schöne
    • 3
  • Neal Pettigrew
    • 4
  • Harold W. Borns
    • 1
  • Douglas S. Introne
    • 1
  • Daniel Belknap
    • 1
  • Kirk A. Maasch
    • 1
  • Scott Feindel
    • 5
  1. 1.Climate Change Institute and Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  2. 2.School of Ocean SciencesUniversity of Wales at BangorAngleseyUK
  3. 3.Increments Research Group, Department of Paleontology, Institute of GeosciencesUniversity of MainzMainzGermany
  4. 4.School of Marine SciencesUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  5. 5.Darling Marine CenterUniversity of MaineWalpoleUSA

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